Above: Tekken (Iron sword) marathon starts out by this Ancient Lotus Park
At Flower-viewing field
1. World Lotus Garden
Along with 100 thousand clumps of Ancient Lotus, there are 20 thousand lotuses with 40 varieties of flowering lotus from around the world and they bloom from late June to early August. And we can watch the growth of the flowers from the seed husks to leaves.All flowering lotuses in this park are from lotus roots, not seeds.
The life of lotus is only four days and they show us the most beautiful shape in the second day. Gyoda Ancient Lotuses are the symbol of this park.
The Life of flower of the lotus:
1st day: Petals begin to open around at 6 a.m. and open 3 to 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) in diameters of the flower. Petals will be back in buds around at 8 a.m.
2nd day: Flowers will be in full bloom at 7 to 9 a.m. This is the most beautiful time and they smell sweet. And they will be back in bud.
3rd day: The same process of 2nd day is made and petals will open maximally. Pollinated pistil turns to black and the color of petals will fade.
Petals start closing around at noon and they keep this state through a night.
4th day: They open fully around at 7 a.m. They start falling around 8 a.m. and all petals will be gone till at noon.
Coffee break 1:
Breathing of lotus:
We can watch that water at center of standing leaf moves up and down after stopped raining. It is said that this is a phenomenon of breathing of lotus.
No 40 Senbenren Lotus
This has so many petals such as 2,000-5,000 that it is difficult for it to open by itself. So, people must help it to open its petals and it doesn’t have stamen. This lotus is more improved lotus than usual lotuses. The more improved, the less vital is the lotus. It is difficult to raise this lotus. So, we can see only a few flowers in a season.
No 27 American Yellow Lotus
This is a father of “Kaihime” lotus.
A single petal, Petal Number: 17-20
Flower color: Yellow
No 35 Virginia Lotus
The flower color of this lotus is the deepest yellow in flower lotuses.
A single petal, Petal Number: 22-26
No 21 Ogura’s Swan
Flower color is white, large, single petal. Petal Number: about 20
No 19 Indian Lotus
When an Indian ambassador in Japan visited Gyoda, he presented the seeds of this lotus to Gyoda city.
No 18 Oga Lotus
These lotuses are from the seeds that Dr. Oga found.
Flower color is bright pink. Large, single petal, Petal Number: 14-18
No 16 Maihiren Lotus
This lotus is from cross-fertilizing of Oga Lotus and Prince Lotus.
This flower is so beautiful like an empress, this name was connected with her. This is the flower of friendship between Japan and the U.S.A.
Flower color: Light yellow shading and light red
A single large petal, Petal Number: 20-25
No 15 Prince Lotus
The origin of the name is that while current the Emperor was the Crowd Prince and when he visited the U.S.A., a Japanese American presented him this lotus.
Flower color is light yellow.
2. At Field for Flower-viewing
We are standing at Field for Flower-viewing. Japanese people love the cherry trees not only with eating and drinking under them, but also creating poem on cherry blossoms. Kino Tomonori who lived in 10th century, wrote the followings.
“Cherry blossoms, on this calm, lambent day of spring,
Why do you scatter with such unquiet hearts? “
Left: Central path with cherry blossoms
We can see not only cherry flowers here, but also various flowers through seasons at this park.
February～March: Plum tree
April: Cherry tree
May: Tree peony
May～August: Lotus, Water lily
3. Ancient Lotus Pond
The features of the Ancient Lotus :
① Primitive in shape.
② It has from 13 to 18 petals that are less than current lotuses.
③ Diameter of the flower is about 24 cm(10 inches: middle size) to 28 cm(11 inches: large size).
④ Leaf angle is 120 degree to 130 degree.
⑤Depth of V-shape on leaf is comparative deep than others.
⑥Flowers have single petals and color is bright pink.
Left: Ancient Lotus Pond and visitors
Coffee Break 2:
It is said that lotus is a symbol of peace or a wise man of flowers.
Attractive features of lotus:
1. A flower is big and beautiful.
2. Lotus grows fast and we can watch the progress of growth.
3. Lotus increases in number.
There are two ways to grow lotus. One way is to grow lotus root and the other way is to make lotus seed to sprout. It will take 1 to 2 years to have flower by the latter way.
4. Pond of Aquatic Plants
(1)Princess Kai Lotus
Left: 1st day Right: 3rd day
Please look at those cream colored flowers. Those are Gyoda’s original lotuses. They can be seen only in Gyoda. The name is Kaihime. They were named after a famous woman Samurai who existed in Oshi Castle around the 16th century. She was said to be beautiful and strong.
The flowers were made by mixing Ancient Lotus with American Yellow Lotus. Lotus usually has four day’s life, but this lotus has only three. We have the old word, “Bijin Hakumei or The beauty live less long.” This lotus is just like that. At first, the color of the flowers are pink, then cream and gradually turns into white.
You can see Water lilies in this pond.
Do you see the difference between a lotus and a water lily ?
Difference between a lotus and a water lily:
① A lotus has a lotus root, however water lily doesn’t.
② A lotus has floating leaves and standing leaves, but a water lily has only floating leaves.
③ A lotus has stronger character for shedding water than it of water lily.
Left: Water lily
Coffee Break 3:
Here is a little bit funny story on water lily. An impressionist Claude Monet had been fascinated by water lily for almost thirty years. So, he left many his works of water lily.
A Japanese gentleman visited the Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris. He found a strange Monet’s work on the wall in consecutive two years. His opinion was that the Monet’s work was placed there upside-down. He wrote his idea on the back of his business card and passed it to a clerk of the museum. Later he received a thanks letter that told his idea was correct.
He was Dr. Nishizawa who was a professor of optical fiber communication at Tohoku University and he was a fan of Monet.
(3) Fringed water-lily:
It is commonly found in ponds and slow moving bodies of water. It cannot
grow in the shade and has to have a relatively deep body of water.
Flowers bloom in July to September, while the seeds ripen from August to October. Leaves are cooked as potherb. The fresh leaves are commonly used to treat headaches.
Flower color: Yellow
(4) Water canna : ミズカンナ
This is a perennial plants, the point of leaf is sharp.
Flower color: Violet
(5)Water shield: ジュンサイ
This is a perennial plants, young buds and leaves are cooked.
Flower color: Violet (from spring to summer)
(6)Channelled water plantain: ヘラオモダカ
This is a perennial herb with tubers.
Flower color: White (from summer to autumn)
Left: Scarlet skimmer (Shoujyou-tonbo) Right: Rhyothemis fuliginosa (chou-tonbo)
This is a perennial plants. It has a characteristic strong and bitter taste, which can be used to keep stomach sound and as an antipyretic.
Flower color: White
(8)Submerged water plants: 水草
One year aquatic plant、
Leaf color: Green , rear leaf : violet,
(9)Blue pond weed: 青浮草
This is a perennial water plant, and it has a root and grows in number quickly.
Leaf color: Green
5. Stream of Firefly
A narrow stream over there is called “ The stream of Firefly” and people in Gyoda release three thousand to five thousand larvae of Heike firefly into this river in early May. So we can enjoy firefly in June.
(Heike )Firefly here is smaller than American firefly.
Left: Prickly Water Lily Right: Black Dragonfly on Prickly Water Lily
6. Pond of Prickly Water Lily
Here, we can see Prickly Water Lily ( and Yellow Lotus). Prickly Water Lily has features that have big floating leaf and flower like a cactus. It is one year aquatic plant belongs to lily species and it was covered by prickles. They are not always seen in every year and the situation depends on the circumstances of the pond. We could see nothing of them last year.
Flowers open in the daytime and close at night. Some flowers come out of their leaves, they can do this way with their prickles. And other flowers come from space among leaves. A season of Prickly Water Lily starts late than lotus season. A life of it is about a week or less.
Sometimes leaves cover the whole surface of water in a pond. This may cause a problem that fish under water may be dead,
7. Field of Wintersweet
You can see the trees of Wintersweet over there. Small yellow flowers are full in bloom in winter and good smell welcomes people in January.
There are about two hundred of them that citizen donated. I donated two trees. The first tree was an anniversary tree that our grand-daughter was born. The second one was an anniversary tree that my wife and I reached at sixty years old.
8. Pond of Waterfowl
This is a natural pond, not an artificial pond. Here, we can see more native lotus, tall stalk, deeper color of flower and wild ducks,wild ducks, wild geese, great egrets, kingfishers, little grebe etc. in this pond.
Sometimes, a wind brings sweet smell of lotus. And if you are very, very lucky, you may face a lotus with twin flowers from a stalk. It is said that this lotus will bring you a fortune.
Coffee Break 4:
There is a nice place to take a photograph of kingfisher in this pond. Kingfisher has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It is called “Blue diamond”. They are active in early in the morning around 5 a.m.
It may be time for their breakfast. An evening around 6 p.m. is their second time to feed. They feed mainly on fish, shrimp.
They have two times to place their eggs in June and autumn. They have strong character to keep their own domain in daily life.
9. Plum Tree Field
These plum trees were presented by Shirakawa city in Fukushima Prefecture. The Lord of Oshi-han was transferred to Shirakawa-han in 1823.
This historical event makes the both cities the relationship of sister cities.
Coffee Break 5:
Most Japanese have loved not only cherry tree, but also plum tree since old days. Kino Tsurayuki was a famous poet who lived in nine century to ten century. He left a poem and it said that
“As the human heart’s so fickle, your feelings may have changed, but at least in my old home, the plum blossoms bloom as always with a fragrance of the past.”
10. Ponds for fishing
People can enjoy fishing at two ponds. They can catch carp, Crucian carp, Japanese Crucian carp and topmouth gudgeon, they are expected to release them again.
11. Peony Garden
These peony trees were presented by Higashimatsuyama city in Saitama Prefecture. They also have very beautiful Peony Garden in the city.
12. The Huge Straw Art
Theme of the Art in 2017, was "Yamata no Orochi".
Yamata no Orochi is a legendary 8-branched giant snake. Length is 16 meters, width is 10 meters and 6 meters high. You can enter the inside of it. Materials of the Art are straws that were used for "The Huge Rice Paddy Art" in 2017. If you come front square at the LOTUS Museum at night, you can enjoy night lighting service.
Displayed: Late December~Late March
This is the floodgate for agricultural channel, built with bricks in 1905. These bricks made in Fukaya City, were built up in British way. Left side is straight and right side is curved line. This is a legacy of civil engineering for adhering to manufacturing decoration in modern ages.